What's your age? 36
What's your gender?-- Female
Where are you from?-- San Diego, Ca
Do you have a blog?-- I have two blogs. One is http://sams-stories.com, and it is a personal blog. The other is http://chickensibling.
blogspot.com. I created it to keep in touch with family and friends when I found out I was pregnant in 2008. It is only about my children and is G-rated. My Twitter user name is samsstories.
When were you diagnosed?-- I was officially diagnosed in April 2007, however I've had fibromyalgia since 2000. I knew it was fibro early on because my mother and a good friend have it as well. I didn't see the point in getting diagnosed as there wasn't anything I could do about it, but I'm glad I did. Medication does help a bit.
How has your family and friends reacted?-- I think most ignore it, except for a few friends and my immediate family. My husband has always known me with fibro so he doesn't notice any difference. He takes excellent care of me. I don't think many partners do this as well as he does.
What is the hardest thing about fibro for you?-- The hardest thing is wanting to do so much more with my life and for my family. Knowing that I could do more, but I will pay for it with more fatigue and increased pain. In the end, if push myself too hard I do less overall. I hate that part, I wish I could overcome this with sheer will.
What are some of your coping tips?-- I've learned to say no to events that are going to use spoons and not benefit me in any way. It sounds selfish, but if I'm not going to enjoy myself or my immediate family isn't going to have fun I'm not doing it. I've lowered my expectations for myself so that way I'm not as disappointed with what I accomplish. Some days I just try to get through it and hope the next day will hurt less or I'll have more energy.
What is the one thing you regret having to give up from fibro?-- I didn't finish my teaching credential because of my fibro, and there is no way I could work while raising children. I don't want to work at this point because my youngest son is 18 months old, but what if my husband lost his job? I'm useless financially.
What is something good you've gained from fibro?-- It sounds cheesy, but I've learned to appreciate the little things more. I nursed my youngest son for 18 months. Even though it has severely impacted my ability to take medication I have cherished the time I nursed him because I fought so hard for it. I'm proud of myself.
What changes have you made to make your day to day easier?-- I take breaks frequently, and I nap whenever possible. I've learned to make changes in my responsibilities to optimize my energy. For instance, I rarely cook because of the length of time it requires me to stand. You can't take a break in the middle if suddenly you get exhausted. But I can mop the floor in stages. Or fold laundry while sitting on the couch. Days that I really want to go grocery shopping with my husband but I can't physically do it I ride in the little motorized carts. It isn't great for my pride, but at least I'm out of the house doing something.
What advice do you have for the newly diagnosed?-- Keep trying different therapies, medications, and keep informed. Remember that there is not one single answer that will solve your pain and fatigue. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is someone trying to scam you. Ignore doctors that don't believe in fibromyalgia.
Anything else you want to add?-- Finding other people with fibromyalgia (even on Twitter) is helpful to my psyche. Seeing that I'm not the only one that is exhausted an hour after I get out of bed means that I'm not alone in this struggle.
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